U.S. Customs Border Protection Forced to Halt Criminal Prosecution Referrals for Illegal Entries

Commissioner working on a plan to resume illegal entry prosecutions

The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he has temporarily stopped referring for criminal prosecution adults who cross the border illegally with children.

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters in Texas Monday he ordered referrals suspended within hours of President Trump's executive order last week that stopped the practice of separating families.

He said that the zero tolerance policy remains in effect, but cases cannot be prosecuted because parents cannot be separated from their children.

He said he is working to develop a plan to resume illegally entry prosecutions of adults with children.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in Reno, Nevada that federal prosecutors would continue to criminally prosecute adults caught crossing the border.

But Border Patrol agents must refer cases for prosecution.

More than 2,300 children were separated from their families before the order last week that is causing chaos at the border on how to implement it.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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